This blog post is about exploring Carmel-by-the-Sea
Welcome back to the blog! It's been quite some time since Chris and I last visited Carmel-by-the-Sea, a charming coastal town in Northern California. We were excited to return, this time with our toddler in tow.
In this blog post, I'll share our experiences, recommendations, and tips for a family-friendly trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Where We Stayed: Quail Lodge: Your Family Oasis in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Our home away from home during this trip was the Quail Lodge, situated just a short 10-minute drive from downtown Carmel. This quiet and quaint hotel offers everything you need for a comfortable stay. Our bungalow-style room was perfect for a family with a small child, ensuring our toddler's activities didn't disturb anyone below us. The room featured a spacious bathroom with a separate tub and shower, a mini fridge, a Nespresso coffee machine, and a cozy sitting area. We even had our own little patio overlooking the lake and a king-size bed. If you're traveling with your family, I highly recommend this spot. While we did have to drive a bit, finding street parking was surprisingly easy.
Both Chris and I also took advantage of the hotel gym which had everything we needed to get in our workouts. There’s also a beautiful pool in the center of the property. If you enjoy golf, there’s putting greens and a golf course on property.
Where We Ate: Culinary Delights in Carmel
Casanova: A Taste of History
Our first culinary adventure led us to Casanova, a historic 1920s cottage with a fascinating backstory. The service was impeccable, and they were incredibly accommodating to our toddler. The menu boasts delicious French and Italian dishes, and we indulged in their famous gnocchi, duck confit, and butter noodles for our little one. Don't forget to try their burnt cheesecake for dessert.
We also ordered the French Onion Soup, but it was not to our taste. Their version is on the sweeter side with a tomato base.
The kids butter noodle pasta was huge, so if you have multiple kids you could get away with having them share a plate.
La Bicyclette: A Bistro Gem
Our favorite meal of the trip was at La Bicyclette, a quintessential bistro in the heart of Carmel. Their comforting seasonal cuisine with a California-Mediterranean twist had us hooked. We savored a delightful cheese plate, shared a heavenly pepperoni pizza, and relished their homemade chili oil. If we had more time, we'd definitely go back for seconds.
One of the most uniquely paired cheese plates I’ve experienced and so delicious!
Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co: Morning Bliss
For morning coffees and pastries, we couldn't resist visiting Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co. Their delicious coffee and appetizing pastries hit the spot. You can catch a glimpse of our first visit on TikTok or our vacation vlog.
We had breakfast at Katy's Place for nostalgia on our last morning, but keep in mind it's cash-only and a bit pricey for what it was. Honestly we were a bit disappointed in the food and it did not live up to our memories of the place.
Since we were only in town for a few days, these were the spots we managed to explore, but Carmel offers a plethora of amazing restaurants for you to discover.
Things To Do: Family Adventures in Carmel-by-the-Sea
With an almost three-year-old in tow, our trip took a different pace. Carmel's early closure times and family-friendly atmosphere suited our toddler-parent schedule perfectly. Here are some must-visit places and activities:
- Visit the Beach: Carmel boasts some of California's most beautiful beaches. Pack a picnic and spend a day in the sun with your family.
- Explore Courtyards and Passageways: Stroll through the charming courtyards and secret passageways that define Carmel's character. Discover unique shops, galleries, and restaurants along the way. There are 41 hidden passageways in downtown Carmel.
- Art Galleries Galore: Carmel is an artist's haven with nearly 100 art galleries within a square mile. Explore world-renowned artwork and unique finds as you wander the town.
- Cottage of Sweets: Treat your family to something sweet at Cottage of Sweets, an old-timey candy shop. Traditional candies, new treats, and foreign delights await. It's a perfect spot to indulge and bring home a special treat for loved ones.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: While not in Carmel, this aquarium is a short 20-minute drive away. It's a fantastic family outing with plenty to see and do, although the cafeteria can be a bit pricey.
I hope you've enjoyed our family-friendly adventure in Carmel-by-the-Sea. If you're planning your own getaway, don't hesitate to explore this picturesque town with its culinary delights, beautiful beaches, and artistic charm. For more travel inspiration, parenting tips, and lifestyle content, be sure to browse my site for similar posts or connect with me on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. If you’d like weekly or bi-weekly updates, make sure to sign up for my newsletter.
Thank you for joining us on this journey, and I can't wait to share more with you soon!